L.A. City Council Votes Unanimously To Approve 2028 Olympics
L.A. City Council voted 12-0 to approve bringing the Olympics to L.A. in 2028 despite lacking an approved budget for the new bid. The rushed vote stems from the IOC's timeline to award both the 2028 Olympics and 2024 Olympics in September. This unprecedented move to award two bids at once was announced in June after months of speculation over whether L.A. or Paris would win the 2024 bid. L.A. made an official deal to host 2028 instead of 2024 at the end of July, leaving it up to the City Council to approve the new deal and push the bid forward.
The vote today will make taxpayers in Los Angeles responsible for cost overruns if the $5.3 billion event goes over budget, according to the L.A. Times.
While LA 2024's bid hosted 32 community meetings in every city district as well as Santa Monica, the LA 2028 bid only had one meeting on August 4 in Van Nuys. LA 2028 presents itself as an identical plan as LA 2024, but critics argue the four extra years are an unpredictable factor and should require a separate review and budget analysis before the bid is voted on. At Friday's City Council vote, a large group of opponents came to voice their opinions. In response to the criticism, Councilman Joe Buscaino said, "I’m tired of these people coming to us and questioning our decision making." He continued to address a heckler, adding, "What these games will do is create jobs and weed out poverty and put Los Angeles on the map."
Protestors at the meeting included members of local activist groups NOlympics LA and SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy), all of whom argue the games will exacerbate local human rights issues like homelessness and militarization of the police force. City Council President Herb Wesson told the critics that "A lot of concerns brought up today ... are legitimate concerns," according to Curbed, but argues that "the city would have plenty of time and opportunity to address issues like homelessness between now and 2028."
Many of the same opponents argued for more public input in the vote, at one point chanting "Let us speak" to the council.
The IOC will officially approve the bids in September during their four-day-long conference in Lima, Peru.